LOB providers let agencies save money, focus mission, experts say

HR Connect program description

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Agencies seeking a shared-services center should do their homework before selecting a provider, speakers at a panel session on the Human Resources Line of Business said March 20 at the FOSE trade show in Washington, D.C.

Lynn Eddy, associate chief information officer for HR Connect, the Treasury Department’s HR Line of Business technology platform, said those agencies should:
  • Determine whether the service center will meet their future needs.
  • Understand what services they’re buying.
  • Examine the provider’s track record and plan to measure performance.
  • Ask if full project management services are included.
  • Find out how much training is offered.
  • Investigate the center’s strategy for technology upgrades.
By sourcing to a shared-services center, agencies are able to move to a consolidated and standardized process and reduce expenditures by eliminating redundant systems, Eddy said.

“They don’t have to pay to operate them; they don’t have to pay to keep them current; and they don’t have to pay to upgrade them,” she said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, an HR Connect customer since April 2005, saved about $10 million using HR Connect instead of deploying its own HR enterprise system, said Charles Butler, director of HUD’s Office of Field Coordination and Technical Support.

“We wanted to replace 17 legacy HR systems with modernized human resource management software,” Butler said. “We wanted to make sure it aligned with the e-gov initiatives and established a two-way interface with the National Finance Center, which is our payroll provider. We wanted to ensure it utilized PeopleSoft human resources management software, allowing HUD to capitalize on our already-owned PeopleSoft licenses.”

Treasury’s HR Connect fit the bill precisely, and the Office of Management and Budget agreed to let HUD become an early adopter of HR Connect. The system was deployed in six months and within 10 percent of the projected cost.

HR Connect “provided HUD with a mature solution without the need to invest in an expensive, costly development effort,” Butler said.

Eddy touted HR Connect’s economies of scale. “In Treasury’s case, when we brought on HUD, we were able to service their roughly 10,000 employees with only two additional staff,” she said.

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